What we’ve been up to: Project Fika
Nearly 2 years ago we, the Roger team, embarked on a mission to get people talking again. In today’s world of curated communication where we substitute texting for conversing and emoji for emotion, voice offers an authentic, natural, and nuanced way to really say what you mean. So, we set out to create a new medium that combines the best of voice calls and texting, with a heavy focus on connection and simplicity.
Armed with this premise, Roger launched a little over a year ago. The response was overwhelming, with people around the world adopting the product and integrating it into their daily lives. We listened (literally!), we iterated, and we made some critical insights along the way…
- Groups are central to communication. We quickly discovered that the most active Roger users spent most of their time in groups, for which asynchronous communication has a massive advantage over real-time.
- A communication platform must be flexible. Voice goes far in bringing empathy into the conversation, but it isn’t always ideal. Sometimes you can’t respond with your voice, and sometimes it’s easier to just show rather than tell.
- The medium must be open and shareable. Beyond chatting inside the app, requests poured in for Roger messages to be shared on Twitter, saved to Dropbox, and posted to Slack. To that end, Roger became a voice platform to create, share, and follow conversations anywhere.
Perhaps most intriguing was a trend we noticed amongst the most avid Roger users: they were using it in their professional lives. When we pieced together what we had built, the lessons we had learned, and the users who were most passionate about the product, “Roger for Work” leapt out as the natural next step.
Meet Fika ☕️
With a solid technical base and a year’s worth of learnings in our arsenal, we started building a whole new app from the ground up. It’s called Fika (the Swedish term for “coffee break”), and it’s built for the groups we work with.
At its core, it’s everything Roger is — simple, authentic, and natural — only supercharged with professional features and a newfound focus on video. Working closely with a wide range of professionals including teachers, entrepreneurs, and doctors, we’ve designed Fika to support a whole new way of working. They use it to talk while on the go, to have virtual meetings without getting everyone together, and for any message better said than typed. It’s fast, it’s mobile, it’s personal, and it’s fun.
The way forward is the same as always: build a product people love. Inspired by the response from early users, we’ve decided to sunset Roger and focus all of our efforts on Fika. Effective March 15, 2017, Roger will be removed from the App and Play stores, and messages will no longer be transmitted. It’s the end of one journey, but more importantly it’s the start of another one.
Right now, we’re working with an early list of teams and professionals who have already moved to Fika; though sign-ups are limited until launch. We’re insanely excited to show the world what we’ve built and are heads-down getting everything ready. Huge thanks to everyone that has supported us so far — especially our wonderful users — and we invite you to come onboard for what’s next.
Stay tuned. 👀
PS: for any questions or support, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org